He’s back baby!

You know him, you fear him, the one and only, Vontaze Burfict.

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He’s back baby!

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Tyler Macenko

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Tyler Macenko

Tyler Macenko

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The man every NFL quarterback has nightmares about, has returned. Cincinnati Bengals LB, Vontaze Burfict has returned to the field after serving a 4-game suspension at the beginning of the season. The suspension came after Burfict broke the NFL’s drug policy, testing positive for the use of PEDs.

Now for the majority of NFL fans, football analysts, ESPN analysts, and practically every fan of football except us Bengals fans, thought the news of Burfict taking PEDs was music to their ears. It fit perfectly with their assumption that Vontaze Burfict is nothing but a hotheaded-rule breaking loser. The reason he is so hated is because of his just pure aggressiveness in the game of football.

These new analysts and fans do not like the fact that there is someone out there who resembles so much of the NFL’s past that they are trying to move on from. Back in the 80’s and 90’s the NFL and football in general was played at a much more aggressive level. It was more “gritty”, and there was a lot of cheap shots and dangerous hits. The simple protocol back in the day was just to “get up” and “get him back” on another play. And that was that. There was not any whining or complaining, it was simply all left on the field.

I got a chance to speak with Elder Football monster and Boston College commit, Spencer Bono and he shared his thoughts on Burfict. He was very clear on how he viewed him as a player:

“If Burfict played in the 90’s, he would be in the Hall of Fame””

— Spencer Bono

In the 80’s and 90’s a lot of players like Lawrence Taylor and “Mean” Joe Greene, who are both regarded as two of the best defensive players to play the game, would be shut out and kicked out of the league due to these new rules. The characteristics of what made them great defenders, would not go over well in today’s game. And players like Burfict, and the late Sean Taylor, have been looked at negatively at times for their over aggressive play.

Now I do understand the rule changes and new regulations put on players to make the game safer, but I think we have gone too far in some aspects. I do also realize, and we all can agree, that Vontaze has taken it too far on many occasions, and has done many things that are very worthy of a suspension. For example, no one is arguing the fact that he took PEDs. We can accept that and move on. But the problem is the constant “all eyes on him” mentality based off the reputation he has been given.

(Burfict vs Dolphins)

Being undrafted, he has always had this chip on his shoulder. Even in college, his coaches new that even though he was a head case, he was one of the hardest working, and scariest defensive machines this league has ever seen. I really hope he can harness that energy and anger into a legal way of playing. If he can hit people harder than anyone like he normally does, and still be within the rules, I would hate to be an opposing team’s offensive player.

He returned this past Sunday, in the Bengals 27-17 victory over the Dolphins. He started but only played about 53% of the snaps . Over these next couple weeks, I expect those snap percentages to go up. And Pittsburgh, be afraid. Burfict is not happy and always seems to hit you guys just a little bit harder.

GO BENGALS!

 

 

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